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Laos, Thailand strengthen relations, cooperation

Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh, accompanied by his spouse and delegation of senior officials, is visiting the Kingdom of Thailand in response to the invitation of his Thai counterpart Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Scheduled for Jun 1-2, the visit aims to strengthen the longstanding relations and cooperation between Laos and Thailand.

An official welcome ceremony in honour of Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh, his spouse and delegation was held by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at Government House, Bangkok yesterday afternoon.

At a bilateral meeting, held right after the welcome ceremony, the two Prime Ministers highly valued the sound friendship and cooperation between Laos and Thailand noting that since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in December, 1950, the two countries have maintained mutual trust at certain extent, ensured equality and respected the national independence of each others.

PM’s visit reaffirmed the commitment of the Lao PDR to continue to enhance the longstanding friendship and cooperation between the two countries, becoming a landmark of strategic partnership for sustainable growth and development thus opening a new era of cooperation between the two neighbours.

Both sides agreed to promote regular exchange of visits of the leaders of the two countries and cooperation mechanisms to strengthen the relations and implement action plans of inter-government and inter-province cooperation mechanisms.

The two leaders highly valued their cooperation on keeping peace and security along borderline including the suppression of goods smuggling and pushed forward border survey and demarcation.

They emphasized the integration and connectivity between the two countries and with the subregion by agreeing to develop land, air and rail connectivity to facilitate trade, investment and tourism.

Both sides highly valued the constant growth of economic cooperation with Thailand raking among top trade partners of the Lao PDR.

Despite of Covid-19, Thai investment in Laos reached 4.7 billion US dollars last year.

Both sides agreed to continue to facilitate transit trade and border trade according to obligations under the bilateral and multilateral agreements on the basis of mutual reliance as well as the feasibility study into the use of the Lao kip and the Thai baht for settling trades.

They expressed satisfaction on the successful cooperation on electric energy with Thailand agreeing to increase its annual electricity import from Laos to 10,500 mw.

The Lao leader also expressed thanks to Thailand for its grant assistance to Laos in priority areas of education, sports, agriculture, forestry and health.

As for cooperation in regional and international arena, both sides agreed to continue to promote mutual support and assistance especially under the United Nations, ACMECS, ASEAN, and Mekong regional frameworks.

The leaders also exchanged points of view on regional and international issues of common interest.

Prime Minister Phankham noted that the assistance from Thailand has contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of the Lao PDR and expressed his hope that the Thai government will continue to provide assistance to Laos in the future especially to help Laos host the 10th ACMECS Summit by the end of this year and take the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024.

The Lao and Thai premiers also witnessed the signing and exchange of documents namely Lao-Thai Action Plan on Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Development 2022-2026, MoU on the construction of Lao-Thai Botanic Garden, and MoU on Electric Energy Development in the Lao PDR.

Source: Lao News Agency